Bruno Mars donates $100,000 for ‘Yolanda’
Fil-Am hitmaker and two-time Grammy awardee Bruno Mars turned over yesterday a check for $100,000 for the relief of super-typhoon “Yolanda” victims.
Mars donation was received by the Bantay Bata 163 of ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc., represented by Program Director Tina Monzon Palma and members of the board of advisers.
The funds are to be utilized by Bantay Bata 163 to initially conduct feeding programs, medical missions, and delivery of basic needs.
They will also carry out stress debriefing to deal with the children’s emotional and mental trauma, as well as hold workshops on disaster preparedness. Ultimately, the funds will be used for scholarships that should help the children build a brighter future.
Mars faced select members of the media yesterday at Solaire Resort and Casino’s Eclipse Entertainment Lounge to award his donation.
Mars’ return to the country had been a promise he made in 2011 to his fans, but it has taken a deeper meaning with his intent to help those who lost their homes and families in the onslaught of Yolanda.
Before Mars was called on stage, Palma said, “I would want to tell him that you turned the lives of the kids (around) when you visited us in 2011… The children are not here because most of them have come back to their homes, inspired to become better… They must be graduating from college now.”
After the turnover, Mars noted, “I’m really excited to be back here in Manila.” He added, “One of the most special moments for me in my career, coming here a few years ago and performing with my whole Filipino family watching.”
Mars is back in the country for a sold-out one-night concert tonight at the Mall of Asia Arena as part of his “The Moonshine Jungle Tour.” Trending on Twitter on the day of his arrival, Friday, his fans are expecting a show tonight that takes a cue from some of his best performances of late – including a show-stopping performance at the Super Bowl half time just last February.
Born Peter Gene Hernandez in October, 1985, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to a Filipino mother, Bernadette Bayot, and Puerto Rican/Eastern European father Peter Hernandez, Mars grew up in a musical household. Mars’ mom – who died mid-2013 from a brain aneurysm – was a singer and a hula dancer, while his father was also a musician. They exposed their six children to a diverse mix of rock to R&B and everything in between.
Mars began performing at young age with the family band, becoming known in the island for his impressions of Elvis Presley. He would continue performing through high school and later learn to play the guitar before eventually moving to Los Angeles to pursue his musical career further.